MARY'S PHILANTHROPY WORK
Read more about the social causes that inspire her and the experiences that have helped her transform need and opportunity into awareness and change.
WOMEN’S SPORTS SAFETY INITIATIVE & SILICON VALLEY COMMUNITY FOUNDATION
Mary partners with the Silicon Valley Community Foundation on her donor-advised fund. Previously, Mary served as the Director of the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative, a special project of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation dedicated to advancing women's and girls' lives by raising awareness of sports-related injuries.
The Women’s Sports Safety Initiative is dedicated to advancing the lives of women and girls by raising awareness of sports-related injuries and the unique factors affecting women’s susceptibility to and recovery from injury. The Initiative, a special project fund of the Silicon Valley Community Foundation, served to strengthen efforts to protect female athletes from preventable injuries, particularly concussions, and to ensure that they can actively participate in organized sports without sacrificing their health and safety.
In 2016, the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative commissioned the Harris Poll to conduct the first-ever concussion awareness survey about how concussions affect males and females differently. The Concussion Awareness survey was conducted online within the United States among 2,025 adults ages 18+, including 496 parents of children under 18.
The survey found that most Americans are unaware that concussions affect males and females differently and that females suffer from a higher rate of concussions than males in similar sports. In addition, women and girls suffer higher rates of concussions, take longer to recover from the injuries, and are often more severely impacted due to hormonal differences, according to recent research compiled from medical and athletic-training journals by the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative in a new report titled Sports-Related Concussions: Changing the Game for Women and Sports.
Mary Hayashi with Green Bay Packers QB Aaron Rodgers
The Women’s Sports Safety Initiative advocates for more research and guidelines on the state and federal levels. Among its goals are requiring concussion-recognition training in coaches, developing guidelines outlining best practices for the diagnosis, treatment, and management of concussions for female athletes, increasing research to determine why women concuss at a higher rate than men and developing a better data collection system to identify trends in female and male athletes.
“Concussions are routinely viewed as an issue affecting male athletes, but a significant number of female athletes also experience serious head injuries,” said Mary Hayashi, project director of the Women’s Sports Safety Initiative. “We need a better understanding of why women and girls suffer from more concussions in similar sports. In addition, we need to ensure this issue gets the attention it deserves from legislators and researchers alike.”
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In the vanguard of healthcare, public policy, diversity and equality, Mary Hayashi’s leadership transcends the standard definition of a public affairs consultant. A proven strategist, trusted advisor, staunch reformer, and passionate champion of underserved communities, Mary has spent over 30 years forging transformative alliances and pioneering meaningful change.